Our NHS is on the verge of melt-down.

Posted on: 17th December 2017

We cannot carry on like this. Our NHS is on the verge of melt-down.

A Senior Hospital A&E Consultant reports this week, “Patients are being left in corridors. There are no ward beds for them, staff are leaving shifts demoralised and exhausted and (most importantly) patients are not getting the care they deserve.

“We need the public to know about this, not to scaremonger, but for the truth to be out there. The only way to get politicians to change is by voters knowing the reality.”

His is a plea to journalists, not to simply regurgitate Government spin but to ask the questions he poses and (most importantly) to report the truth.

He’s not alone. Frontline NHS staff are worried. They have no confidence things will get better. Only worse.

Of course I’m bound to say that we cannot trust the present Party of Government. Well, we can’t. I’ve seen them up close. I know what they really think. People forget the Conservatives campaigned and voted against the creation of the NHS. For all their warm words, present-day representatives would rather see it cut and privatised than properly funded.

But, watch out. Our attention is being diverted…

There’s now a frantic attempt to mount a campaign to stop the latest in the perpetual stream of NHS re-organisations. This change would shift the blame away from Westminster politicians to local ones. Perhaps local Councillors are brave (or naive) enough to believe they can do a better job of managing a now seriously debt-ridden, hopelessly under-funded NHS which is at the same time gleefully being cherry-picked by companies which put profit before patient care?

It’s a cunning plan by Government Ministers. Their local MPs can claim to support health and hospital protestors down here while continuing to vote through NHS funding cuts up there! Yet Ministers and MPs can still happily blame everyone but themselves for the consequences. Cunning indeed!

This latest reorganisation brings with it another array of shiny new acronyms – STPs, ACOs, ACSs, a Shadow ACS, ACPs, ISCFs – and reassuringly warm-sounding “patient-centred” processes, ‘engagement events’, ‘co-production workshops’ with “stakeholders” and “pathways to care”

The reality behind this mild-seeming, foggy, alphabet soup of change is that Cornwall is already “£100 million ‘overdrawn’ at the Treasury” and has to find at least a further £270 million of cuts/savings by 2020.

Whilst it’s good to see a band of local campaigners demonstrating their concern for our NHS outside County Hall this week, they should instead be offering to back our Council, to take a joint protest to where it really matters – ie up in Westminster.

So, as I hope you relax at home over Christmas I hope you’ll give a thought to our front line NHS staff and their fight for the very future of this vital service. They deserve our support in the new year, to fight for its political future.